Hamburger Mary's

June 21 2006 - 10:28 AM

We finally got to Hamburger Mary’s after driving past its sign many times. It’s a big sign and, hey, you always want a burger, don’t-cha? I settled for splitting a burger, rings, and coleslaw. But that’s okay, the burger’s are huge.

The name of the place and the style of the menu seem to say diner with burger’s defined by Mary’s Special, Proud Mary, etc. however the velvet curtains, loud club music videos (of people who likely skip the burger) skew it some which I think is a good thing. Another Johnny Rocket’s/Ed Debevic’s type place isn’t as needed.

The most important thing here is the burger and while my friend,
burger connoisseur, was distraught by the absence of American cheese and
the presence of Pepsi rather than Coke, she still ogled the neighbor’s
food. The burgers are big and beautiful. The bun’s stiff and the patty was thick. The lettuce was a bit on the yellow side but I don’t mind
iceberg that much.

We ordered Mary’s burger which had the
secret sauce (always thousand island) and was s’posed to have come
medium (as per Mary’s instructions) but was more of a medium-well.
There’s a big warning on the menu that burgers under medium scare Mary
and she wouldn’t recommend them.

There are interesting points of
view online about burger done-ness. The consistent comments seem to be
that in places that do not use pre-formed patties and use fresh meat
the option for medium-rare to rare is the reason to go. Not like a
burger at Bennigan’s, no matter how good. But as I’m a medium-well guy
I’ll leave this discussion to someone else.

Suffice to say, I
really liked my burger and thought it gave Blackie’s a run for their
money. Maybe even coming out on top. The rings however fell short. They
were big and thick but weren’t crispy enough. The bowl of slaw was
good. It had bell peppers in the vinegary-mayo and was something that
stood out to me. It also ran $2.95 so I guess it lived up to it. We had
no fries.

Long and the short of it is – I’ll be back, I’ll get
the fries and justify not splitting it by not adding any sugar to my
iced tea.

Hamburger Mary’s
5400 N. Clark

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